P The NPG Music Club Releases: The Chocolate Invasion, Xpectation, The Slaughterhouse, C-Note & High

There’s something about Prince and the Internet that just never quite gelled. In the last 15 years, the guy has abandoned more web/commerce models than anyone you can think of. Both NPGOnlineLtd.com and love4oneanother.com were early forays that quickly went by the wayside. At the turn of the century, The NPG Music Club was his best, offering these web-only releases and digital singles. I wanted to join The NPGMC, but it wasn’t Mac-friendly. Those are lost sales. Prince’s latest, LotusFlower, was scrapped barely a year in, and I’m sure I’m missing one or two. Was 1-800-NEWFUNK an online presence? These days, Prince appears to be looking for something completely, outside-the-box different, turning his back on the viability of the web as a sales vehicle in the process… even seemingly no longer fazed by its thieving denizens. He’s a smart guy, he’ll think of something. You know he can’t stop creating… so it’s just a matter of what he’s gonna do with it all. A note about the (included) art work. Unless I’m mistaken, it’s all fan-generated. We’ve got more Prince in the archives.

The Chocolate Invasion (2004)
The Chocolate Invasion is comprised of tracks from the projected (but abandoned) full length 2000 album, High. Only “Judas Smile” and “The Dance” were not included, so most of this material comes from just before Prince’s religious conversion – after Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic and before The Rainbow Children. There’s no obvious thematic thread here, just a solid collection of tunes. Note the smooth line in the opening track, “
I will touch thee in the softest manner, like ‘Europa’ in the hands of Santana” (followed by a Carlos-ian lead riff). A good Prince release to have.

When Eye Lay My Hands On U
(6:37)
Judas Smile
(3:45)
Supercute (4:18)
Underneath The Cream (4:04)
Sexmesexmenot (5:46)
Vavoom (4:40)
High (5:09)
The Dance (4:45)
Gamillah (3:13)
U Make My Sun Shine (7:06)

The Slaughterhouse (2004)
Containing three more tracks from the shelved High, and “
2045: Radical Man,” also found on the Spike Lee soundtrack, Bamboozled. The Slaughterhouse seems to contain more material from the same 1999-2001 period as The Chocolate Invasion. In fact, a few of the cuts on both web albums seem as if they were written with Bamboozled in mind, so maybe some of these tracks were offered for consideration. Only one Prince track was used. I like this set’s mix of grungy funk and smooth vibes.


Silicon (4:17)
SMGroove
(5:10)
Y Should Eye Do That? (4:33)
Golden Parachute (5:38)
Hypnoparadise (6:05)
Props N Pounds (4:38)
Northside (6:34)
Peace (5:35)
2045: Radical Man (6:37)
The Daisy Chain (6:13)

Xpectation (2003)
It’s subtitled “New Directions In Music,” but, in reality, Xpectation is a smooth update of Prince’s jazzier experimentations, this time featuring the mostly female lineup of Candy Dulfer (sax), Vanessa Mae (violin), Rhonda Smith (bass) and John Blackwell (drums). Prince’s piano work had developed by leaps and bounds during this era, and he advanced way beyond his basic pop/funk fills into a fully nuanced jazz player. The One Nite Alone box set, and solo piano album of the same name – both from the early 00s – capture that growth. The music here, similar to past forays like N.E.W.S. and Crystal Ball‘s Kamasutra, may not be of much interest to P’s funkier fan base. Note: The irritating surface noise in “Xpand” is apparently intended.

Xhalation (2:04
)
Xcogitate (3:33)
Xemplify (5:53)
Xpectation (4:01)
Xotica (3:05)
Xogenous (4:12)
Xpand (6:11)
Xosphere (3:34)
Xpedition (8:24)

C-Note (2003)
C-Note is a series of lengthy, instrumental live recordings – jams and soundchecks – from Prince’s 2002 One Nite Alone Tour. Only “Empty Room” is an actual song, which Prince dusted off from the 80s to reintroduce here. Most downloads of C-Note that you’ll find (like this one) include a “bonus” track – a longer version of “Copenhagen.” The story is that this extended version is the original one posted by Prince, only to be removed just days later, in favor of the shorter version. You get both.


Copenhagen (9:59)
Nagoya (8:54)
Osaka (5:42)
Tokyo (5:09)
Empty Room (4:02)
Copenhagen (13:28) (First Version Bonus)


High (2001)
Different from the above NPG web-only downloads, High is a never-released album Prince put together in, or around, 2000. Instead of issuing it, however, Prince ended up dismantling it and scattering various versions via The NPG Music Club a few years later. Most of these recordings found their way onto The Chocolate Invasion and The Slaughterhouse, though… some are slightly altered, lengthened and/or shortened.
When Will We B Paid” made it to a CD B-side. Archaeologists have given High two or three different unofficial running orders. This one works as well as the next. Solid P.

High (5:04
)
My Medallion (5:07)
Vavoom (4:03)
Sexmesexmenot (4:25)
Golden Parachute (5:32)
When Will We B Paid (4:07)
Gamillah (3:08)
Supercute (4:11)
Underneath The Cream (4:00)
The Daisy Chain (6:10)
Silicon (4:49)
U Make My Sun Shine (5:53)
When Eye Lay My Hands On U (3:40)

16 Comments

  • 1
    Willard
    May 26, 2011 - 12:20 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • 2
    ~ junko
    July 9, 2012 - 13:20 | Permalink

    ..from me homestater – it’s the OTHER Nelson kid! Prince! – and a veritable education you provide. i thank you- i’ve barely heard any of his stuff and i prolly wouldn’t take the trip if it weren’t for you Cap’m. Thanks Muchly .. ~junko ..(it’s good to explore w/ you)

  • 3
    buzzbabyjesus
    July 9, 2012 - 15:28 | Permalink

    My Medallion killed me. I’m goin’ 4 it!

  • 4
    Kwai Chang
    July 10, 2012 - 00:15 | Permalink

    I think “P” might have had an appreciation for the great Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel. Maggot Brain is sublime…Maybe it was only the clothes…anyway, here is Eddie’s rare solo album.
    “Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs”@320 w/scans@300dpi:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?ytuyf1yzkzeoldm

  • 5
    Kwai Chang
    July 10, 2012 - 17:00 | Permalink

    City Lights: Volume 1
    vol. 1 – http://www.mediafire.com/?kes11yx3gcn0rgt
    vol. 2 – http://www.mediafire.com/?bc0yp8c5bcmuup3
    vol. 3 – http://www.mediafire.com/?fph9cqtgmgffhjm
    vol. 4 – http://www.mediafire.com/?eugfqrchd96fvx9
    art – http://www.mediafire.com/?h40lhblpdg38tkh

    • 6
      Kwai Chang
      July 10, 2012 - 17:17 | Permalink

      no bit rate(sorry…they sound real good)

      • 7
        Kwai Chang
        July 10, 2012 - 19:26 | Permalink

        City Lights is a real good Prince bootleg. It’s from 1979-1981 and includes his debut appearance on American Bandstand w/ Dick Clark…the Omni in Atlanta, The Roxy in L.A., Le Palace in Paris, and the Ritz in New York…and much more.

  • 8
    buzzbabyjesus
    July 10, 2012 - 17:14 | Permalink

    I always wan’t to hear Eddie’s album thangks.

    • 9
      buzzbabyjesus
      July 10, 2012 - 17:14 | Permalink

      er, wanted to hear. I flunked typing.

  • 10
    danny
    November 20, 2012 - 08:24 | Permalink

    how do i download these albums

  • 12
    Conor
    August 6, 2013 - 12:43 | Permalink

    Willard can you help me find those NPG Ahdio shows, if possible in their original single MP3 format rather than divided into seperate tracks. I had them but the death of a harddrive means they are one of my last pieces to recover. Thanks for the great site, diverse and with quality music.

    Conor

    • 13
      Willard
      August 6, 2013 - 14:45 | Permalink

      Don’t know which shows you mean. I don’t collect much live stuff from Prince.

  • 14
    Prince Fan
    December 1, 2013 - 08:09 | Permalink

    Thanks for the links. Lots of stuff her I’ve never heard.

  • 15
    March 3, 2014 - 12:13 | Permalink

    if U please i wish a album of PRINCE (TheJewels Box 2) and ( Work it ) it’s 2 bootleg album i’m from Belgium i speek French excuse my error THANX NPG 4 LIVE

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